Chocolate Milk in the Lunch Line

Baby steps.  Our school offers chocolate milk and 2% white milk.  Picture this.
Scene 1: Chocolate milk primarily in sight, a few white milks to the side on the lunch line.  Observed chocolate milk being placed on kids trays automatically.  Some kids even said "no, white please" and the milk would be changed out.
Scene 2: Chocolate milk neatly stacked in a milk crate and a handful of white milks laying in disarray next to it.  White or chocolate asked.
Scene 3:  A large rectangular crate with 2 rows of chocolate milk and 8 rows of white milk lined up.  White or chocolate asked.

This is a true story! Baby steps has changed the way the milks are presented at our school and it only took a little nudging.

How about scene 4:  Only white milk lined up neatly in the crate and chocolate milk taking a back seat prompting students to have to ask for chocolate milk.

There are different kinds of chocolate milk.   Eight ounces of whole chocolate milk contains approximately 210 calories, reduced fat milk contains between 160-170 calories which is nearly as many calories and sugar as a 12-oz. can of Coke and skim milk contains 160 calories approximately per eight ounces.  Encouraging students to consume chocolate milk by placing it front and center at check out is contibuting to a childhood obesity crisis.  Chocolate milk should be meant as a treat.

Calcium and vitamin D are an essential part of our kids daily requirements and milk offers this.  One worry is how many kids in the lunch line simply won't drink milk if we remove the chocolate flavor?   If white milk is the readily available option, I think kids will take it eventually.  The chocolate milk can be available, just not front and center, you know the saying, "Out of sight, out of mind".  This is a good habit we can encourage in early childhood as a whole.  Or, maybe we propose to remove chocolate milk altogether for 4 of the 5 school days and offer it only as a treat on the 5th?  Our school is required to offer 2 beverage choices.  I wonder if the wording says anything about how it should be displayed?

Jaime Oliver is taking a stand against chocolate milk in school lunch programs through his food revolution and new show.  Have you seen it yet?


  1. Very good and informative article.

    I think it's important that schools offer our children healthier food and beverage options. Along with parents and home life, school is a big factor in the developing of a child's habits and behaviors.

  2. Love, love, love Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and support what he is doing 100%. I have no doubt that the kids would would drink the white milk if nothing else was available. I think parents just THINK their kids wouldn't drink it. I'm known to love Horizon's single-servings of organic strawberry milk as a treat, but only as a treat at home. You can't control what the child is going to choose as school every day so GET IT OUTTA THERE!

  3. I have never bought flavored milk for my son for the same reason you mentioned - no turning back once they've tried the tastier versions. I'm glad he still takes the whites. Once he asked to buy the strawberry ones at the mall, and I distracted him with a packet of fresh juice instead!:D

  4. As a kid, I don't think I remember getting that option. It was just, hey, drink this chocolate stuff. It's got VITAMIN D. I do remember the day that I learned that YooHoo had no milk, and not much in terms of Chocolate, either.


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